Towards the end of 2021, we were able to start a new cohort of our Media Club Program, under our YES Leadership Academy. Media Club invites youth to participate in bi-weekly group meetings that encourage perspective building and a sense of belonging among their lived experiences. These 4-month virtual programs provide cohorts of youth with ongoing support from caring peers and trained facilitators while they take a deep dive into themes ranging from mindfulness and empathy-building to servant leadership and anti-racism.
For our final Media Club session, participants are asked to create a final project using their biggest takeaways. Check out some project highlights below!
Jacob's Empathy Driven Clothing Design
For his final project, Jacob, 16, from Coquitlam created a stunning visual design for his up and coming clothing brand Chaos Crew, inspired by our sessions on empathy and sustainability. You can check it out on Instagram here!
"My brand Chaos Crew is not only a clothing apparel brand, but a movement; it leads a vigorous course of action where we the youth will unite, to passionately evoke CHAOS, and with our colourful identities and self expression, we will disrupt the future of our chaotic and disordered world. This specific piece called ‘ATripToSpace’ represents nature, it features different plants with wondrous eyes. These eyes represent life and how plants are essentially living things just like us humans, so why are we so ignorant and negligent towards them? Polluting nature with our waste. Thinking back to one of the earlier sessions about empathy, I made this piece because we need to treat these living things with more empathy instead of sympathy, two things we compared in our discussion that session. This design will be
featured in the up and coming Chaos Crew
drop this spring, so stay tuned!" - Jacob, 16, Coquitlam
Bridget's Ableism and Inaccessibility Project
Bridget, 16, from Victoria was inspired by our session on Community & Collective Care, as well as her own personal experience. For her project, she downloaded an app called Access Now, intended to share accessibility information about places around the world from places like a restaurant, hotel or store, or to browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you require. Bridget then threw herself into field work, and went to locations (including her own high school) in her community to leave reviews and detailed descriptions of the locations, suggest improvements, and report problems and inaccuracies.
"My project really just started out as a self-reflection journey for me as I am a disabled person but I think it grew to be more than that and really what I was aiming for was a celebration of disabled voices and people, who we are, and what we give to society.
In my mind while making the project I was just thinking about how much disabled people are under-appreciated in society and society needs to realize just how powerful we are and how we won't stand for ableism happening to us. So I wanted to give the whole disabled community a voice, not just myself and my experience being a disabled person, and so that's why I added lots of quotes from disabled activists and pictures of them as well. Making the project made me sad because it really got me to see all the ableism in today's society but it also made me grateful to be a part of the disability community and just hopeful for future generations of disabled people."
"Doing the action part of the project [click photos above for more detail] was my way of contributing to anti-ableism and hopefully contributing a small part to an accessibility network of disabled and able-bodied people working together to gain awareness and educate about accessibility needs and requirements different people with different disabilities have, when they are going places in their daily lives. Overall, my main goal for the project and just in general, was to open up able-bodied peoples' eyes to ableism and inaccessibility and hopefully encourage them to celebrate and bring power to disability rights advocates and disabled voices." –Bridget, 16, Victoria
Drew's All Scrap Project
Drew, 14, from North Vancouver was inspired to create a final project based on our sustainability session, specifically focussing on our conversations on the fast fashion industry. Drew has been passionate about fashion and design since they were little, and when they heard that their school's theatre program had clothing scraps, they decided it felt best to up-cycle the pieces into new, wearable and unique garments - from pants, dresses, to tops, Drew was able to save so much material from being thrown out!
Chloe + Scotia's Presentation on Alternative: A Renewable Future
Also inspired by fast fashion, Chloe, 18, Sooke, and Scotia, 14, Vancouver shared a presentation to Media Club that discussed alternative materials and brands that have a lower environmental impact than today's most popular sources of clothing, as well as impactful details on the decay times of synthetic materials that many of us use in our daily lives.
"Our project is about different types of materials and how long they take to decompose, brands that support Fast Fashion and brands that are sustainable, things that you can implement into your life to be more sustainable, and some insane statistics. I found this topic very informative and important to share, because this problem is so prevalent all over the world." – Scotia, 14, Vancouver
You can view their full presentation here!
Eliot's Presentation on Why Bioplastics Aren’t Quite What You Think!
Eliot, 14, Vancouver, created an awesome powerpoint presentation for us about bioplastics: what they are, the problem with them, as well as accessible action steps to make differences in our communities.
Check out the full presentation here!
Thank you so much to all of our Media Club participants! All of the projects, conversations, and highlights were incredible. If you're interested in joining our next cohort, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for when registration opens!
About the Author:
Shania Chand (she/her) is the Program Director of The Youth Excellence Society. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, a Minor in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and a Certificate in Social Justice from Simon Fraser University.